Jürgen Klopp met with the media ahead of Liverpool's Premier League match with Nottingham Forest. During the press conference, the boss discussed the challenges and opportunities the club is afforded by playing European and League matches in the same weak, Mohamed Salah's form and the prospect of facing long-time Liverpool player Divock Origi.
Klopp acknowledges that there are pros and cons to playing so many games in a short amount of time.
“Thursday-Sunday is not great, but it is something we have known really for long enough and that's fine,” Klopp said. “It means a lot of players who did not play [against Toulouse] will probably start on Sunday, so for them it's fine. They had, if you want, a ‘day off' [on Thursday night], just warming up and kicking a few balls, and now [on Friday] a proper session and then we prepare definitely [for] Nottingham. we should get used to it sooner rather than later. So far it was OK, but a Premier League season with European football and all the cup competitions is an intense season. We never had a problem with that, that's all fine.”
Sometimes Mohamed Salah does things on the pitch that defy explanation, but Klopp tried to describe the Egyptian King's play of late.
“It's obvious that he just enjoys the group,” Klopp said. “I think that's an obvious thing. If you saw him on the bench, he wants to play, always! But he enjoyed as well watching the other boys, and then coming on and scoring the goal. I'm really happy for him. Of course, he's [been] an adult man already for a long time now, but he is growing with the role he has for us, and in football maybe in general. To show that to stay on [the] top level, it's nice to enjoy the moment and then you go again – and that's what he obviously is doing.”
Divock Origi played at Anfield from 2014-22, scoring 41 goals for the Reds. He is currently on loan from A.C. Milan with Nottingham Forest. He has been battling injuries, but Klopp is hopeful he will get to play.
“I really hope, not for the game but for the occasion, that Divock Origi will be in the squad, I hope he is fit so that the people can give him a little hello. He would deserve that, definitely. Besides that, I don't wish him a good game, that's clear, but at least the occasion! “We know what we have to expect. The proper analysis will happen [today] but I know already it will be really tricky. We remember especially the away game last year when we lost, that was a really hard day for us but credit to Nottingham. I think that day we were the better team but you couldn't see it on the scoresheet because they just stayed in the game, and that's probably the biggest strength.
“Whatever happens, they stay in the game, and in the moment when they can do it they will score and punish you. We have to make sure we are ready because this will be a tough one, definitely.”
This was a typical Klopp press conference. He did not complain about having to play two games in quick succession. Instead, he viewed it as a chance for other players to make their mark on the club. Klopp also sang Salah's praises along with those of his former player as well. That's why he is one of the best managers in football.
“It means a lot of players who did not play [against Toulouse] will probably start on Sunday, so for them it’s fine.”
“I really hope, not for the game but for the occasion, that Divock Origi will be in the squad.”